As you no doubt recall, the popular catechetical outreach program of the Roadkill Theological Roundtable — “Ask Religious Stuff” — has not yet secured an official imprimatur, part of the issue being the question, “Who put the imp in imprimatur?”
Regardless, “Ask Religious Stuff” continues to field expansive inquiries of a religious nature, including “so, just how religious is nature?”
Answer: Nature is very religious, often being mentioned directly and indirectly and sometimes via synonyms, allusions and allegorical things in both the Old and New Testament to say nothing of being considered highly important by countless priests, nuns and Mother Earth News articles.
Other recent questions fielded by “Ask Religious Stuff”:
Q: In my parish, the pastor told us that the bishop said only men’s feet may be washed during the Holy Thursday Mass, but the pope washed the feet of two women at last Easter’s Holy Thursday Mass in Rome and one of the women was a Muslim. What does that mean?
A: According to many (although not all) liturgical experts, both men and women have feet, which is also true for men and women who are Muslim.
Q: How many angels fit on the head of a pin?
A: Forty three. It can also be infinitely more, but it’s hard for someone to prove 43 doesn’t work just fine.
Q: Are there more men or women mentioned in the Bible?
A: Depending on what Biblical Population Bureau one consults, there are roughly 180 women mentioned and more than 1,000 men. It is dangerous to make too much of this. While this is more than a 5 to 1 ratio, keep in mind that scientific studies show that women on average speak about three times as much as men, which seems to close the gap quite a bit.
Q: With Pope Francis adopting such a frugal, simple lifestyle, does this tend to support the bad light thrown on the church by critics who have called it too regal or monarchical?
A: That depends on what you mean by “bad.”
Q: Did Jesus speak Aramaic or Hebrew? How did his words find their way into Greek and Latin? And how do we know the English translations from Latin and Greek for the revised Mass language reflect Jesus’ own words?
A: In some circles, your question would be considered rather uppity.
Q: Why do you think the Gospel writers never seemed to have portrayed Jesus as having a sense of humor?
A: I never said that. A guy who hung out with fishermen and turned water into wine had to have a sense of humor.
In future ARS installments: Are there any canonical barriers to Vatican ownership of a professional sports franchise? Is there a patron saint for cribbage? Does licit really mean “bending the rules without breaking them”?
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: